Reporting Shannon Carlin
“I remember being like ‘Oh my God, I love her voice! I love this lyric! I need to buy this album,” Rowland told Radio.com.
The singer admits it took her some time to truly understand Mitchell’s lyrics. And Rowland certainly isn’t the first person to have that problem. Most are still trying to figure out what the lyric, “It’s clouds illusions I recall/I really don’t know clouds at all” actually means. But once Rowland was in her twenties, it all seemed to make sense.
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m in love with her and everything she has to say and how strong she is,’” Rowland said. ”What she says matters. Completely.”
With her latest album, Talk A Good Game, out June 18, Rowland also wanted to send a message, one that showed how far she’d come since her solo debut, Simply Deep, over ten years ago. “I had a lot to say this album,” Rowland said, noting “Dirty Laundry,” which talks about an abusive ex and living in Beyoncé’s shadow.
But it’s not just that one song that gives us a different side of the former Destiny’s Child singer. The whole album is a testament to the powerful woman Rowland has become. So it’s only fitting that Mitchell played a role in the singer’s artistic transformation and Rowland’s song “Gone,” one of her favorites on her new album.
While in the studio, Rowland was having trouble coming up with a chorus for the song, which focuses on a guy who just can’t seem to understand that it’s over. Then one of the song’s writers, Courtney Harrell, stared singing the hook of Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
“[Harrell] started singing and I was like, ‘We can’t…wait, that’s hot,” Rowland explained. “It came together like that. It was just perfect how it happened.”
Rowland says “Gone” is a testament to how iconic Mitchell’s songwriting is. Besides a ton of covers ranging from Bob Dylan to the Counting Crows, “Big Yellow Taxi” has also been sampled by Janet Jackson on her track, “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” off 1997’s The Velvet Rope.
“It stands the test of time,” she said. “The song is just timeless and I’m honored to have it on my record.”